Hartford, Conn. - After splitting the first two sets, the Wesleyan University Cardinals came away with the third and fourth set to pick up a 3-1 victory over the Trinity College volleyball team on Friday night in a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) match in Hartford. The Cardinals, ranked No. 5 in New England, improve to 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the NESCAC while the Bantams fall to 7-4 on the year and 0-3 in conference play. Trinity picks it back up tomorrow afternoon for a 2 p.m. match at home versus Connecticut College.
The Bantams were led by senior co-captain Rachel Underwood (Danville, Calif.) who finished with a game-high 17 kills to go along with nine digs. Sophomore Jess Yang (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) finished with 37 assists while classmate Ali Odermann (Lenexa, Kan.) led all players with 26 digs. Junior Wyllie Boughton (Andover, Mass.) had a strong night at the net, finishing with four blocks, while fellow junior Colette Scheffers (Flossmoor, Ill.) added three blocks to go along with eight kills and 13 digs. Boughton also led all players with three aces.
Wesleyan hit .224 as a team, led by Stasie Litinsky (Evanston, Ill.) who had 14 kills for a .387 hitting percentage. Mia Hogan (Belmont, Calif.) led the Cardinals with 15 kills (.308 hitting percentage) while Kaira Muraoka-Robertson (Los Angeles, Calif.) posted a game-high 38 assists. The Cardinals also tallied 14 blocks as a team, led by Mia Jago (Allentown, Pa.) and Litinsky who both recorded five each.
Wesleyan ran away with the first set, 25-12, thanks to 13 kills and just two attack errors. Hogan led the way in the opening frame with four kills while Jago had three blocks in a set controlled by the visitors. The second set proved different as the Bantams came out on top, 25-19, thanks to 13 kills and just two errors, led by Underwood who had eight kills on 14 attacks. Boughton also had three blocks while Scheffers and Yang added a pair each. The two sides kept it close before three-straight kills by Underwood opened up a 20-15 advantage for the Bantams. Trinity kept a comfortable lead for the rest of the set before clinching in on block assists by Boughton and Scheffers.
Wesleyan jumped out to a 16-12 lead in the third set before a kill by Trinity rookie Ally Conde (Danielson, Conn.) eventually cut the deficit to 21-19. Underwood followed that with a kill of her own before an attack error by the Cardinals tied things up at 21-21. Despite the momentum, Wesleyan finished the set on a 4-0 run to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Cardinals took command in the third set with a 18-12 lead. Litinsky recorded consecutive kills to make it 24-16 before the Cardinals clinched the match on a hitting error by the Bantams.